When we first became part of the Davidson Young Scholar (YS) program we had no idea what “profoundly gifted” meant. From the expertise and guidance of our Family Consultant as well as the online colloquiums, we learned about the unique needs of our children.
Two key points of understanding for us were the “asynchronous development” of our children: that is that they were grasping ideas and learning things way beyond their age and emotional development. The other big idea that changed our thinking about educating our children was the “rage to learn” that profoundly gifted children have. They are voraciously hungry to learn new things all the time and are capable of mastering new ideas very quickly.
Once we understood these ideas, it was clear that the traditional route through public schools was not going to work for our children. The Davidson Institute provided us with support to move in different directions as the needs of our children changed. The experience of parents in similar situations we found in the online community was invaluable. We knew that we were not alone in this journey. Together we created a collage of educational approaches that included: distance learning, homeschooling, mentoring, dual enrollment, early college, subject acceleration and private school.
The financial support we received allowed our girls to participate in transforming summer enrichment activities. These experiences were essential in their discovery of their talents, abilities and passions. Our daughters are now self-possessed and self-directed young ladies who spend their summer at a chamber music camp because the Davidson Institute helped with tuition. They want to give back and inspire other young musicians.
Being part of the Davidson Family has inspired us to raise awareness of the needs of the gifted in public education. We developed a relationship with our local school district and have worked to develop a plan for alternative pathways for other gifted students through the public school. Our daughter has spoken at the state level several times, which led to a change in state standards so that school districts could provide students a way to demonstrate mastery in alternate means. This has opened the door for other gifted children who will follow.
None of this would have been possible without the incredible work the Davidson Institute does for the profoundly gifted children in our country.